Yao Ming is impatient — he wants back on the court. Badly.
But after 18 months away from the game and a complex foot surgery he doesn’t want another setback. So he may miss the first preseason game (or more) he told the Houston Chronicle.
“When I was playing some scrimmage with some of the teammates in the last two weeks, I can’t say it (his surgically repaired left foot) is as good as the original one, the one on the right, but it feels as good as can be running on the court,” Yao said. “The foot limits me a little bit. I still have time to get it better before the regular season starts.
“I have not played a real game, even an exhibition game. I don’t know how it will react. Hopefully, we can learn as soon as possible.”
The Rockets open the preseason against Orlando (and Dwight Howard) on Oct. 5 in Hidalgo, Texas. The Rockets also are without backup center Brad Miller for a couple of weeks due to a sprained ankle.
Yao, as much as he wants to play, has to remember it’s the preseason. It matters less than the regular season games that start late October. And even missing those — or having your minutes limited to 24 a game to start — is not a big deal. With a healthy team and Yao come the playoffs, the Rockets are a popular dark horse pick in the West. Without him, they are not even making it that far. So rest.
Still, it sucks.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.